I own a Cowon J3 and used this MP3 player to test the Shure SE215. My previous earphones were 1) Sennheiser MM50 (Used with 3rd Gen Ipod Shuffle 2) Klipsch Image S4.
Shure SE215 Review
Firstly, out of the box there are small, medi...Read moreum and large in both foam and soft flex sleeves. I opted for the large foam ones because I found they gave good sound isolation and bass despite not having very large ears I found you have to squash the foam down and they then expand again in your outer ear canal after insertion. The noise of traffic and other external noise was drastically reduced in my case.
At first the earphones took me a while to fit but its easy once you get the hang of the over-ear cord design. That said they are not suited to quickly and repeatedly taking off and on to listen to people so I just turn off the player and leave them in. Personal fit rating 9/10.
2) Sound Quality
The Shure earphones are known for having a balanced sound which I take to mean not too much bass or treble. The SE215's are balanced but have quite a soft or shallower rounded sound quality to them. Not as bassy as my Sennheisers or as clear sounding as my Klisch earphones but a balanced sound.
At first I was a bit disappointed with the earphones as they sounded, but after an extended period of use (about 10-20 hours) they do sound much better. The frequency range is a limited to 22hz-17.5khz but they still sound good and quite loud on my J3 for the volume setting. Impedance is 20 ohms.
What does this let these down a little is the rather narrow stereo imaging. You never get true stereo with earphones, I know, but if you want a wider soundstage then I don't think these earphones are the ones for you. They're not terrible, admittedly, but I was hoping for more in this regard. Sound Quality rating. 8/10.
3) Build Quality
Its very early to comment on this as I've only had them about two to three weeks but they seem pretty solid. The tops of the cables near the ear phone housing are reinforced for bending over the ear. I can't see the phones wearing out any time soon if well taken care of. Build rating 8/10.
4) Overall. Good earphones for the money. Not earth shatteringly great, I think, but then thats what the higher model Shures are for, I presume. Overall 8/10.